inducted February 18, 2006
Marcellus Vernon Wiley is known throughout the National Football League. He is known for nine solid seasons as an NFL defensive lineman with the Buffalo Bills, San Diego Chargers, Dallas Cowboys and Jacksonville Jaguars. He is known for being one of the best pass rushers in all of pro football, a terror to quarterbacks who quake when his 6-foot-5, 275-pound frame draws near.
He is known for being voted (by his fellow players) to the Pro Bowl three times, once as a starter (2001) and for being named NFL All-Pro.
He is known as one of the most literate and thoughtful players in the NFL, chosen as player representative for Buffalo and San Diego for six years.
He is known for earning the Phil Simms Ironman Award and for being named Walter Payton Man of the Year three times, recognizing his off-the-field community service as well as his playing excellence.
He is known throughout pro football as “Dat Dude.”
“Dat Dude” is widely considered one of the best football players in Columbia’s history, primarily at a position he played for just two seasons. He went from a 205-lb. running back to a 6-5, 270-lb. defensive end in a way that made the Ivy League and professional scouts take notice.
Wiley played running back as a first-year and sophomore. During his junior season, he moved over to defensive end, where he played one season before leaving school for a year.
He left as a promising college player. He returned as one of the top pro prospects in the nation, a man who would experience one of the finest seasons ever by a Columbia football player.
Wiley led Columbia to an 8-2 record and second place in the Ivy League in 1996, his senior season, when he recorded 63 tackles – 17 of them for losses – 6.5 sacks, eight pass breakups and three blocked field goals. He also doubled up on offense in short-yardage and goal line situations.
Regarded as one of the best short-yardage runners in the nation, he rushed for 118 yards on 321 carries as a senior and scored five touchdowns, three in a 42-16 win at Holy Cross. He rushed for 736 yards and 18 touchdowns in three varsity seasons; as a junior, he scored two touchdowns agsinst Harvard, one each against Lafayette, Fordham, Princeton, Cornell (the game-winner) and Brown.
Wiley was named third team All-America, first team All-East and twice first team All-Ivy. He was chosen national Defensive Player of the Week as a senior and twice Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year twice.
He received the Sid Luckman and David W. Smyth Awards as Columbia’s MVP, was voted co-captain and was awarded the 1997 Connie Maniatty Award as the top senior men’s student-athlete in the University.
He played in the East-West Shrine Game and was the second-round draft pick of the Bills, the highest Lion draftee since 1969.
Marcellus Wiley now lives in Chatsworth, California, with his daughter, Morocca Alise Wiley, who turned seven years old a week after her father’s induction into the Columbia Athletics Hall of Fame. He still enjoys “rapping, dancing and philosophizing,” much as he did when he was a Columbia undergraduate.And Marcellus still remembers Columbia, very fondly. He especially remembers “sitting on the steps on the first days of spring. We would sit there and play music and chill with people from all walks of society.”